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Affair surfaces as murder trial nears

The wife of the prosecution's star witness has admitted to having a long sexual affair with millionaire murder suspect Alan Mackerley, a New Jersey man accused of killing his business rival.

Marian Anderson, 55, told prosecutors Oct. 17 about the affair with Mackerley, which started in the 1980s and was kept secret from her husband, Bill Anderson, court documents show.

Bill Anderson's testimony to a grand jury against Mackerley, his former best friend, led to Mackerley's indictment in the February 1996 death of Frank Black, 58.

Anderson, 65, has testified that Mackerley told him that he shot Black at his home in Stuart and dumped the body into the ocean. Black's body never was found. Mackerley, who owns Byram Bus Lines of Sussex County, N.J., was arrested six months after Black disappeared.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Mackerley, 54, who is being held without bail in the Martin County Jail on charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 19.

Anderson said he did not know about his wife's affair when he told investigators in August 1996 that Mackerley confessed to killing his rival in the bus business.

"I did not know about (the affair), and I'm going to testify about that," Anderson said Tuesday. "I learned about that Oct. 17, 1997, and I can prove I didn't know it."

However, Mackerley's attorney, Jeff Weiner, insists Anderson knew of his wife's indiscretions.

"There are many witnesses who knew about it," he said. "The bottom line is the whole prosecution, including the star witness and his wife, tried to hide this."

Police have said that five Martin County inmates have told investigators that Mackerley offered to help them post bond, help them hire lawyers and pay them up to $40,000 if they would agree to kill Anderson.

Mackerley also is charged with solicitation to commit murder.